I will examine three courses that I presently instruct at RRC with a view of adopting student-centered approaches for delivery of the respective curricula.
Algebra and Trigonometry – Most, if not all, of the lessons of this course could be delivered by a flipped classroom. The lectures, presently delivered by three instructors in parallel running class using teacher-centered approach, closely follow a prescribed textbook. The textbook publisher has developed a comprehensive website to support student learning and instructor teaching. This website contains for each subscribing student electronic textbook, homework assignments, sample tests and quizzes, animation video clips, lecture videos, PowerPoint presentations, a discussion form, ClassLive sessions, tutor services, graphing calculator help, announcement board, individual study plans, online testing, and gradebooks. Essentially, the tools are in place for flipped teaching. The challenge will be student, instructor and department buy-ins, all of which is needed to ensure a smooth, organized and effective delivery.
Statistics for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – Many, if not most, of the course-lessons could be delivered by either flipped teaching or inquiry based learning. Substantial information on the course content can be found online at various websites where video lectures, blogs, slide presentations, tutorials, mathematical and nonmathematical papers, application software, discussions forms (Qs and As)… cover both classical and spatial statistics at the level presented in this course. As such, inquiry-based learning may be a logical student-centered approach for the delivery of this course but a flipped classroom could be equally beneficial to the instructor and students. Perhaps a mixture or blending of both approaches would work well.
Legal Surveys – This course may prove a little more challenging as to which learner-centered approach or approaches to use. Case studies would be effective for some of the material, especially those portions that present legal cases that set precedents in Canada when dealing with land and water boundary disputes. It might be best for other content to use inquiry-based learning when teaching/learning about the Canadian legal system, real property law and land registration systems. Scaffolding might be strong method for the teaching/learning of interpretation of legal (land) description. Little is formally written on this topic and knowledge of this topic resides with experts in the land surveying profession who through years of experience have mastered this art. The remaining topic in this course is the Dominion land survey system of Western Canada, which could easily be presented by a flipped classroom approach.